Monday, February 9

Politicians’ Love & Hate Affair With The Media

It is really disgusting, the manner in which the politicians have turned Karnataka into a battleground of sorts. It is quite understandable when there are two different parties [long time foes] presiding at the State and the Center, respectively.

What is beyond my imagination is the levels to which they are willing to stoop, unmindful of their highly exalted positions.

The State home minister V S Acharya had earlier hinted at bringing in some measures to gag the media, blaming it for blowing up the Mangalore incident out of proportion. Media did receive some flak from some prominent writers for not informing the police about the incident and the undue publicity given to the Ram Sena hooligans.

I do agree to an extent that such hooligans craving for some publicity should not be interviewed by the news channels and any threats made by them should be immediately reported to the police. However, it is the other way round here. The police gets to know about the news from the media. And they do nothing, as they wait for orders from the higher-ups. In fact, the entire police and justice system is flawed. In hindsight, I guess the media has done a good Samaritan by publishing the threats, allowing the public to take precautionary measures well in advance.

While the State Home Minister is thinking about gagging the media, the Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram has used the media to deliver the message that the Ram Sena is a threat to the country and the Centre is watching its activities with great concern. Correct me if I am wrong. When a group threatens the rights of the people enshrined in the constitution, should the Indian Home Minister issue sound bytes to the media that the Center is watching and such crap? You might as well send those hooligans an Archie’s Greeting Card. The intelligence agencies should have swung in immediately and shut down the group. But that is like asking for the moon here in India.

If all this makes one feel helpless, then what about the slugfest between the Union
minister for women and child development Renuka Chowdhury and Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. They have been using the media to air their differences, looking like school children blaming each other at the Principal’s office.

I guess Bangaloreans need to prepare themselves for yet another long soap opera played out in the print media after Valentine’s Day.

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